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by Michael O'Neill

Sand-martins whirling out of cliffs.
Hay trussed in roly-poly bales.

Stalled windmills. Big skies.
A place for weather-watching rites, for money

to invest in, rewarding itself
with the obligatory boat and a lawn

that tapers off in search of water, life's
elixir, leisure's mirror... Walsingham

and Cromer: the manufactured shrine with
something - nothingness? -- candled at its heart,

the deft resort with one eye on your wallet
and one on the enigma of the sky

that bends above the threatened beach
where if, as they heap and spill, drag and heap,

the waves are trying to communicate -
some maxim, perhaps concerning survival,

the need to endure, to hope just enough -
you find you're baffled, you can't hear a word.

(Published in Wheel (Arc, 2008) and reprinted by permission of the author and Arc)


Norfolk Poems





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